A frequent question on train forums involves a particular diecast toy car, usually available for a limited time but at a good price, and asking if it’s suitable to use in a particular scale. It seems not everyone knows how to determine scale themselves.
I understand why. I’ve never seen anyone explain how to do the math to figure it out, but it’s really not hard. All you need is a search engine, a ruler, and a calculator.
Last week, at about 238,000 miles, we traded my wife’s 2002 Honda Civic. It was good to us.
She drove that car the night we first met. It was the car we drove home after we got married. We drove our dog home from the Humane Society in it, I drove her to the hospital in it, and we drove our two boys home from the hospital in it. When a car lasts 13 years, it gets to participate in a lot I guess.
“Dad!” my sons approached me breathlessly. “Did you know they’re making an Angry Birds Transformers?”
“I’m not surprised. They’ll make Angry Birds anything. Angry Birds Do Taxes.Angry Birds This Old House.Angry Birds This Old Car.” And then, for the coup de grâce, I added, “Angry Birds Beavis and Butt-Head.”
Do I need to tell you my very young boys quickly lost all interest in Transformers and wanted to know everything about Beavis and Butt-Head? OK. They wanted to know everything–and I mean everything–about Beavis and Butt-Head. Especially Butt-Head. Read more
My former classmate Judd Slivka, now a journalism professor at Mizzou, pointed me to Long-Term Quality Index, a long-term study of the reliability of used cars co-created by our fellow Mizzou alumnus Steven Lang. Judd called it an outstanding example of data-driven journalism, and I agree.
I saw a reference this week to an editorial by Ramit Sethi called Forget Frugality. While he has some good points, I think some of his advice is counterproductive and even contradictory. He argues that you should focus on earnings and negotiation instead of trying to actively cut costs.
I really think you have to do a combination of the three, and you should start with what you have the most control over, which is your own budget. Here’s what I have to say about his seven strategies. Read more
The bank vice president apologized for calling the police on me.
That’s neither the beginning nor the end of the story, but it seems to me that police involvement of any kind is a sign that your real estate deal isn’t going as well as it could.
It all began with a Citibank loan officer named Aaron who promised me a smooth closing. In my view, being questioned by a uniformed police officer has no place in a smooth closing. And that wasn’t even the worst part of it, which troubles me. Read more
My check engine light came on this morning. I’ve been driving this Honda Civic since May 2003, and this is only the third time that’s happened. But the other two times were nuisance lights. The car ran fine, so I bought a new gas cap, replaced the cap, and the light went off.
This time was different. I confirmed it when I turned the corner and tried to accelerate to 25 miles per hour. The car acted like I was asking it to go a hundred and twenty-five.
After 10-plus years and 194,000-plus miles, I had my first mechanical problem. For the first time, I was going to the mechanic for something other than arbitrary, mileage-based maintenance. Read more